The authors thank Professor Norman Freeman and Dr. Gil Deisendruck for comments on earlier versions of this manuscript.
Cognitive Flexibility in Drawings of Bilingual Children
Article first published online: 14 SEP 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Child Development © 2010 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 81, Issue 5, pages 1356–1366, September/October 2010
How to Cite
Adi-Japha, E., Berberich-Artzi, J. and Libnawi, A. (2010), Cognitive Flexibility in Drawings of Bilingual Children. Child Development, 81: 1356–1366. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01477.x
- Issue published online: 14 SEP 2010
- Article first published online: 14 SEP 2010
A. Karmiloff-Smith’s (1990) task of drawing a nonexistent object is considered to be a measure of cognitive flexibility. The notion of earlier emergence of cognitive flexibility in bilingual children motivated the current researchers to request 4- and 5-year-old English–Hebrew and Arabic–Hebrew bilingual children and their monolingual peers to draw a flower and a house that do not exist (N = 80). Bilinguals exhibited a significantly higher rate of interrepresentational flexibility in their drawings (e.g., “a giraffe flower,”“a chair-house,” found in 28 of 54 drawings), whereas the level of complex intrarepresentational change was similar across groups. Interrepresentational drawings were previously reported only for children older than 7 years. The specific mechanisms by which bilinguals’ language experience may lead to interrepresentational flexibility are discussed.